There are several problems for students using Facebook. Whether you're a student in high school or college or a concerned parent, there are a few things to keep in mind when using Facebook. Your future may depend on it!
Many Potential Problems for Students Using Facebook
While there have been numerous complaints of privacy issues on Facebook and other social networks, there are several other concerns to keep in mind.
- Many features on Facebook, such as the ability to post updates on your present location (similar to Foursquare) can leave your home vulnerable to burglars. If they know you're out, they may choose your property for a burglary. As a result, posting your location or your daily schedule online can leave your dorm room or apartment open to a break-in.
- The things you post on Facebook can also leave you vulnerable to other threats such as stalkers. While the risk might seem small, putting too much personal informaton online leaves you vulnerable to stalkers and other unscrupulous people.
- Facebook accounts are also vulnerable to hacking. Hackers steal personal information and can wreak havoc on your online accounts, bank accounts, credit history and more.
- Many students use Facebook as a way of sharing their activities. However, if you're doing something illegal, such as drinking alcohol, you may run into a problem. High school students posting about drinking binges or photos of indulging in illicit substances risk legal action if their photos are reported to authorities. Think before you post; if you wouldn't show your parents, grandparents, rabbi, minister or pastor these photos, do you really want to post them online?
- Internet posts often cause misunderstandings and fights due to the lack of person to person interaction. However, some fights on the Internet can go too far when particular threats or language are used. Be careful or the things you say on Facebook can start to get too hot.
- High school students need to be especially careful on Facebook because the things that your friends say can get you in trouble too.
School and Future
- Many high schools and colleges restrict access to Facebook on school computers. While there are ways to get on Facebook when it is blocked, doing so may open you up to discipline from school for evading the rules in place.
- While it can be great to post photos on Facebook or status updates about having a good time, remember that these things are public knowledge. Anyone can see this, including your teachers or possible future employers. Even if your profile is set to private, there is some discussion about major companies having the ability to get around that. Would you want your potential boss or teacher to know how drunk you were last night? Many stories have now emerged about employers who have chosen to not hire or who have fired employees after looking at their Facebook pages.
- Another set of problems for students using Facebook is family interactions. Do you want your family to know about the things you post on Facebook? Many do not. Be careful about what you say or your parents might get involved!
Avoiding Problems on Facebook
The best way to keep yourself safe on Facebook is to make sure that the things you post are safe. Don't post anything that you wouldn't want your parents or teachers to know about. Only use Facebook on computers that you are allowed to use the site on and don't try to use proxies to get around things. Monitor what your friends post about you on Facebook to make sure nothing is getting out of hand. Update your privacy settings to what you feel will keep you safest. But most importantly, always remember to use common sense when using Facebook and other similar social networks. If you use your brain, all social networks can be safe for you!